Amy Virginia Buchanan, Artistic Director/Cofounder at Spring Street Social Society
KU degree: BGS, Theatre (2010)
Why she’s a Hawk to Watch:
Amy has carved her own path as a performer in New York City, acting, singing and writing. She also co-founded Spring Street Social Society, a business enterprise that plans and hosts creative and unexpected dinner parties and/or performances across the country.
What do you feel is your biggest achievement so far?
Sustainability in an artistic career.
What’s your lowest career moment and how did you pick yourself up and move on?
For a full year, I worked three jobs, while also working on my personal art projects. I wrote the first draft of my most recently produced solo show. I recorded my first album. And my creative partner, Patrick Janelle, and I launched Spring Street Social Society as a business enterprise. All while being a barista, caterer, and babysitter. I slept a total of two to four hours a night that entire year. Halfway through the year, I nearly had to move home, due to financial struggle. I have never been so overworked and exhausted, but I wanted to be able to do my art work on my own terms, so I kept going. And at the end of that year, I quit my day jobs and have been supporting myself with my art ever since.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
Still happy, still sustainable, still working and relevant in my field, and probably with a kid or two.
What do you know now that you wish you could tell your 18-year-old self?
“Amy, do a study abroad with Mary Klayder, so that you don’t find yourself on Facebook feeling FOMO three times a year, every year, after college.” (I’m still trying to figure out how to be a chaperone on one of these trips…)
What’s your best career pro-tip?
Find the right collaborators. This means knowing what you are good at, and knowing what you are bad at, understanding what you want to create, and then finding all of the people that it will take to create it. Also, consider your audience.
What do you do after you’ve clocked out?
Right now I am learning how to cook. I like to read, flip flopping between relatively trashy/easy reads, and political/art theory. I play music for babies at a bookstore. I watch movies with my cat, Whenny. And I ride my bike/run. I used to have too many hobbies, then I had none at all, but now I find that balance and personal time is important.
What is a fun fact about you that no one knows?
I’m very bad at using the Microsoft Office Suite.